In contrast to modern self-help courses that come and go by the month, this book has stood the test of time for nearly a century and is mandatory reading in many of the most prestigious business schools of our time.
In the book, you'll learn how to make friends quickly and easily, boost your popularity, and use simple techniques to influence people toward your way of thinking without being manipulative.
Map of How to Win Friends & Influence People
The book is divided into four sections, each containing several leading principles. I have summarized these principles in the map below, organized by section.
I highly recommend reading the book in its entirety, and then use this map to help you freshen up on the core principles. You might be able to borrow it at your local library, alternatively, you can buy it here.
You can click on each topic in the map to read a summary of the principle. To get a better view of the map, click the full-screen icon in the bottom right.
As usual, this map is public domain. That means you are free to do with it as you wish. So, feel free to duplicate this map for your own use.
I made this map in a tool I've created. If you want some tips and tricks on how to get started, check out this article.
If you want more context on the book, I have written a short introduction to the author and the book below. It contains some of the information in the map but not the principles themselves.
Dale Carnegie was born in 1988 on a farm in Missouri, and he developed an interest in public speaking at a young age. His first job was selling correspondence courses to ranchers. Still, he first made his marks on the world when he moved on to selling Bacon, Soap, and Lard for a company named "Armour & Company," where his success made his sales territory the most successful national area for the firm.
From this, he saved up about 13500$ in today's money and quit sales in 1911 to pursue his dream of becoming a Chautauqua lecturer.
He attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and joined a short production afterward; however, he quickly found himself back at the YMCA in New York.
At the YMCA, he got the idea to teach public speaking, and he persuaded the manager to allow him to give a class in return for most of the proceeds.
Following this debut, the Dale Carnegie Course evolved into the self-improvement movement we know today.
Fast forward to 1934, and Dale Carnegie had been conducting leadership training and public speaking courses for 22 years since his initial success in 1912. He had also written several books on the topic.
Leon Shimkin from the publishing firm Simon & Schuster attended one of his 14-week courses and was deeply impressed.
He convinced Dale to let a stenographer take notes from the course and turn them into the book later known as "How to Win Friends & Influence People."
Two years later, in 1936, the book was released, and needless to say, it sold very well.
How to Win Friends & Influence People is a self-help book for leaders and people seeking to improve how they interact with other people.
The book presents no "miracle cure," but it contains a good list of tips everyone should follow and is divided into four main sections.
1. Techniques in Handling People
The key to winning friends and influencing people, according to Dale Carnegie, is to focus on making others feel important. This can be done by being supportive and sincere and appreciating people for who they are.
If you can make others feel good about themselves, they will be more likely to listen to you and be influenced by you.
2. Six Ways to Make People Like You
In this section, Dale Carnegie provides several tips for making friends and building relationships, including being genuinely interested in others, smiling, remembering names, being a good listener, and talking in terms of the other person's interests.
He also stresses the importance of making others feel important and being sincere in doing so.
3. Win People to Your Way of Thinking
In this section, Dale Carnegie provides tips on handling arguments, winning people to your thinking with storytelling, and letting the other part feel respected while doing so.
He also advises that your goal is not to win the argument but to win the other person over to your way of thinking.
4. Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
This section covers topics related to leadership, such as how to give feedback to your employees, motivate people, and how to handle difficult situations without making anyone lose their dignity.
Ultimately, a lot of the advice in the book can be generalized into three main concepts that every leader should practice.
Emotions are what drive us as humans. They are what make us feel alive, and they are what connect us to one another. If you want to be heard and understood, you need to take emotions into account. They are the key to effective communication.
To be heard, you first need to listen.
Show the other party that you are interested in them, and they, in turn, will show interest in you.
This can take many forms, such as:
- Remembering their name.
- Listening more than you speak.
- Researching beforehand what the other party is interested in.
Only by listening can we figure out what drives the other party, which will be essential to furthering your relationship.
Finally, to invoke action, interest alone is not enough; people need to be inspired. And inspiration needs to be built upon both emotion and interest.
You can buy the book by following this link, alternatively, the book is very popular, so you might be able to find it in your local library or book club!
- When Warren Buffett was 20, he took a Dale Carnegie course called "How to Win Friends and Influence People." To this day, the diploma is still hanging in his office. He is quoted saying that it "changed his life".
- Chautauqua was an American adult education and social movement that emphasized the importance of lifelong learning and personal growth.
- The author's original name was Dale Harbison Carnagey. He decided to change the spelling of his last name after being inspired from conducting a sold-out lecture at Carnegie Hall and to make his name easier to remember.
- The book does have some skeletons in its closet. It is noted that Charles Manson used what he learned from it to manipulate people into killing for him. So remember, use what you know to influence positive change, not malice.